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Survival in an extreme habitat: the roles of behaviour and energy limitation.


Plath, M; Tobler, M; Riesch, R; García de León, F J; Giere, O; Schlupp, I (2007). Survival in an extreme habitat: the roles of behaviour and energy limitation. Naturwissenschaften, Die, 94(12):991-996.

Abstract

Extreme habitats challenge animals with highly adverse conditions, like extreme temperatures or toxic substances. In this paper, we report of a fish (Poecilia mexicana) inhabiting a limestone cave in Mexico. Several springs inside the cave are rich in toxic H2S. We demonstrate that a behavioural adaptation, aquatic surface respiration (ASR), allows for the survival of P. mexicana in this extreme, sulphidic habitat. Without the possibility to perform ASR, the survival rate of P. mexicana was low even at comparatively low H2S concentrations. Furthermore, we show that food limitation affects the survival of P. mexicana pointing to energetically costly physiological adaptations to detoxify H2S.

Abstract

Extreme habitats challenge animals with highly adverse conditions, like extreme temperatures or toxic substances. In this paper, we report of a fish (Poecilia mexicana) inhabiting a limestone cave in Mexico. Several springs inside the cave are rich in toxic H2S. We demonstrate that a behavioural adaptation, aquatic surface respiration (ASR), allows for the survival of P. mexicana in this extreme, sulphidic habitat. Without the possibility to perform ASR, the survival rate of P. mexicana was low even at comparatively low H2S concentrations. Furthermore, we show that food limitation affects the survival of P. mexicana pointing to energetically costly physiological adaptations to detoxify H2S.

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43 citations in Web of Science®
50 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aquatic surface respiration, Cave fish, Extremophile, Hypoxia, Hydrogen sulphide
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:13
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0028-1042
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-007-0279-2

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